Guest Blog By MFD, Hawaii resident. Hawaii is the fiftieth state of the United States. It is also our youngest state, having joined the Union in 1959. The state of Hawaii is annexed by the United States in 1898 as their territory. This is the Islands of Hawaii Uncovered.

Hawaii is very unique because it is made up of eight islands that lie in the Pacific Ocean 2390 miles west of the California coast. The group of islands is also the farthest away from any other body of land in the world.

Islands of Hawaii Uncovered Rabbit Island
Islands of Hawaii Uncovered Rabbit Island

The islands that make up Hawaii include the following; beginning north and moving south:  

  • Niihau,
  • Kauai,
  • Oahu,
  • Molokai,
  • Maui,
  • Lanai,
  • Kahoolawe, and
  • Hawaii, most often called Big Island so it is not confused with the state of Hawaii.

The Beginnings

Eruptions of under sea volcanoes thousands of years ago, results in the islands of Hawaii uncovered. It is noted that the first Polynesians to reach Hawaii sailed from the Marquesas Islands around 750 AD. Heavy migrations from Tahiti came during the 12th and 13th centuries. Without compasses, the voyagers travel in huge 60-80 feet long canoes and could hold up to fifty people. They use the sun, birds, fish, stars and moon as their map.

The Long Journey

The voyagers’ journey takes them over 2000 miles and many end up lost at sea or die from starvation. They take along with them pigs, chickens, dogs, and plants. The early Hawaiians introduce many plants to the islands including taro, bananas, breadfruit, coconuts, sugar cane, yams, sweet potatoes, and mountain apples. At that time, Taro is their principal food crop similar to our potato.


Captain Cooke

An English explorer, Captain James Cooke, discovers the Hawaiian Islands in 1778. On Capt. Cooke’s third expedition to the islands, the natives slay him during a fight. When he first arrives on the islands, chiefs rule the territory and in 1782 King Kamehameha is the lone ruler, and remains ruler for seventy-seven years.

Three more rulers will follow his reign until the monarchy is overthrown on January 17, 1893. The rulers’ abode is Iolani Palace on the Island of Oahu. This palace is the only royal palace in the United States.  Read more about Capt. Cooke and his death here:

Missionaries from New England arrive on the islands in 1819, led by Rev Hiram Bingham. It took them five months of sailing to reach the islands. They came upon the Big Island first.

Former sugar cane factory

During the the 19th century, Whaling is a big industry but when that waned, the natives turn to agriculture. Read more about Hawaii’s whaling history here.  Sugar led the way. Rice is another crop in Hawaii and is necessary to feed the Asian population who arrive to work the sugar cane fields.  You will sometimes find former sugar cane factory buildings and land today leased to local businesses such as soap factories and retail stores.


Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee of which is grown on several of the islands. More than one-third of the worlds’ commercial supply of pineapples is grown on the islands. In 1901 James Dole “the Pineapple King” founded the Dole Cannery and it remained active until 1991 when it was closed. These yellow buildings on Oahu are now converted into a retail center and the Regal theaters state-of-the-art 18 plex. Macadamia nuts, bananas, and papayas are also grown on the islands and exported.

However, Hawaii’s economy is driven by tourism, the military and education. 7.6 million tourists come annually to Hawaii. Eleven military installations are on the islands, most being on Oahu. 


There are no racial or ethnic majorities in Hawaii. Everyone is a minority. Caucasians (Haoles) constitute about 34%; Japanese-American about 32%; Filipino-Americans about 16%; and Chinese-American about 5%. It is very difficult to determine racial identification as most of the population has some mixture of ethnicity.

Brief Hawaii History

In the beginning years of Hawaii’s birth, ethnic groups, besides the Polynesians, came from China, Japan, Portugal, Korea, Philippine Islands, Puerto Rica, New England, and Samoa. You might be asking yourself how did all these groups communicate. By speaking “pidgin English” which combines lots of different sounds and even today you can find people living in Hawaii who speak pidgin. The Hawaiian alphabet is made up of only twelve letters. The vowels a-e-i-o-u are the same as ours; consonants are h-k-l-m-n-p-w. Some words that you might be interested in learning are KA-NES (man), WA-HIN-ES (woman), KEI-KI (child), ALOHA (love, hello and good-bye), MA-HA-LO (thank you) and HA-LE (house).


There is habitation on seven of the eight islands. We will begin with NIIHAU, the northern most island. This is a privately owned island by the Robinson family and residents are mostly pure Hawaiians who live simply. The population of the island is 230 and the size is 69 square miles. Their principal industry is raising livestock. Tourists are not allowed on Niihau. Legend says this island was the original home of the goddess PELE. Early Hawaiians have many superstitions and worship idols. Learn more about the culture and people of the island of Niihau.

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KAUAI is the second island of the chain and is the fourth largest. It is referred to as “The Garden Isle” due to all the plush vegetation and beautiful flowers. Kauai receives 488 inches of rain annually and this water falls off Waialeale Mountain, forming the Waialua River. This river is one of five that you can navigate and this area is considered the wettest spot on earth. Tourists can take a three-mile cruise down this river and end up at the Fern Grotto. Another large river, Waimea River is slicing a miniature Grand Canyon through the colorful lava slopes and canyons. Reds, browns, and greens subtly color the 2,857-foot-deep gorge . Another attraction is Spouting Horn where the sea pushes up through a shoreline lava tube.


Sugar Cane

According to local legend, the sorrowful moaning sound is made each time a geyser shoots skyward is the crying of an unhappy lizard trapped in the tube long ago. During this time, the people of Kauai make their living by growing sugar cane and raising cattle on ranches. The first sugar mill for processing the cane into sugar is built on Kauai. They also harvest “sea salt,” scooped from shallow ponds after the seawater had evaporated.

Morning sunrise in Kauai


OAHU, 3rd largest island, lies south of Kauai and is known as “The Gathering Place.” The island draws more visitors to Hawaii than any of the other islands. Honolulu is the major city, the capital of Hawaii and has a population of 905,034.   It is the nation’s 11th largest metropolitan area.   Honolulu also has a harbor. It is also the sight of Iolani Palace where the kings and queens lived.

View from the Aloha Tower

Honolulu spreads over 25 miles of the leeward shore and inland onto the ridges and valleys of the Koolau Range. There are two mountain ranges – Koolau to the windward or eastern side and Waianae Range to the west. This island is where the well-known naval base Pearl Harbor suffered the surprise Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. The Arizona Memorial rests in the harbor to remember all those who gave their lives that day.

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Other points of interest that visitors enjoy are Diamond Head, a mountain formed from a volcanic eruption and Waikiki Beach, the most visited beach by tourists, which lies within the city of Honolulu.

Waikiki Beach

Get to know Hawaii in and out and visit 100 Best Things To Do In Hawaii

Surrounding the island of Oahu are world-renowned beaches including Waikiki and North Shore.


MOLOKAI, is known as the most Hawaiian Isle as well as “ Friendly Isle”. The island is formed as a result of two major volcanic domes. The tableland called Mauna Loa at the western end, which rises to only 1,381 ft, is the first to build up. The jagged mountains in the northeast, topped by 4,940-foot Kamakou, are formed later by the East Molokai volcano.

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A much younger volcano, Kauhako, created a flat tongue of land that juts out from the north coast, isolated from the rest of the island by fortress-like cliffs. The east end is a tropical rain forest and part of the island receives 240 inches of rainfall annually.

Rural with low tourism

Most of Molokai is still a rural landscape. Not many tourists travel there. Molokai Ranch Wildlife Park is home to rare African and Indian animals. At one time, Kalaupapa was home to a leper colony where Father Damien devotes his life to the victims. The 4 ½- square-mile peninsula is isolated by pounding surf, a rocky coast, and steep lava cliffs. A unique way to visit isolated Kalaupapa is to ride a mule down the steep, switchback trail that is the only land route to the settlement. 


MAUI, known as the “Valley Isle”, was formed by two erupting volcanoes at different times in history.

Maui is the second largest island at 727.2 square miles. Haleakala Crater is on Maui and is the world’s largest dormant volcano.   Haleakala,” House of the Sun”, has the highest elevation of 10,023 ft on Maui. The crater is 7 miles across and 2600 ft deep. It is said that temperatures on the bottom of the crater rise well above 100 degrees.

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The state bird, the Nene goose; almost extinct one time, lives here. You will be most fortunate if you get to see one when you drive to the crater top.  Also protected here is the silversword plant.

Island Attractions

There is so much diversity of beauty on Maui and it is the second most-traveled-to island. Besides the Haleakala Crater, other famous attractions are the old whaling town of Lahaina, Kaanapali Beach and Golfing resorts, and the road to Hana. You have not experienced it all until you have driven that 55 mile winding, narrow, road to the quaint little town of Hana. In early Hawaii times, sugar cane is the leading livelihood for centuries. However, in 2010, the last of all the sugar mills in Hawaii closed on Maui.


LANAI, the small island, just a half-hour flight from Honolulu, was once the “pineapple island”. It is also considered Hawaii’s most secluded island. The island is the remains of an old volcanic peak that rises to more than 3000 ft. It is an island to explore with scenery that ranges from forested ravines to an arid plateau and cliffs that drop steeply to the sea. Norfolk pines are densely planted in areas.

Modern Lanai

Lanai is no longer the pineapple island. Recently, the CEO of Oracle, bought 98% of Lanai. He left the 2% for the locals to live on.   However, he does have good plans to develop the island into a vegetable and fruit producing state. Another interesting fact about Lanai was when the CEO of Microsoft rented the entire island and even the air space above to have his wedding there. Hulope Bay is a marine preserve and considered one of the best diving spots in the world.

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HAWAII, “The Big Island” is the largest island at 4,039 square miles. It is the youngest of the island chain formed 800,000 years ago. However, it was the first island discovered by voyaging Polynesians and also the first reached by the missionaries. Among the five volcanoes that form Hawaii, two are still active. Mauna Loa, largest active volcano in the world, ended a 25-year quiet period with a summit eruption in 1975.

Sourced from

Lively Kilauea, down on Mauna Loa’s southeast flank, puts on fiery shows, sending lava spilling all the way to the sea and adding more land area to an island already almost twice as large as all the other islands combined. It is the world’s most active volcano. The added land has formed the Black Sand Beach. With a recent massive eruption in early 2018, many residents are evacuated and property is destroyed. Here is a current update on Kilauea.

Magnificent Mountains

Two of the tallest mountains in the Pacific – Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa – dominate the center of the island.   Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world (measured from its base at the ocean floor). It rises 13,796 feet above sea level and extends 19,680 feet below for a total of 33,476 feet. On a sparkling day, Mauna Kea is clearly visible from the city of Hilo on the Big Island. On the snow-blanketed Mauna Loa, the world’s biggest telescope is housed, along with more scientific observatories in one place than anywhere else in the world.

Nuts and Orchids

The Big Island has the largest contiguous ranch in the US with around 480,000 acres of land. The Island of Hawaii is the worldwide leader in harvesting macadamia nuts and orchids. The southern most point in the US is Ka Lae on the Big Island. There is a constant 27 knots per hour wind blowing east to west, 24 hours per day and 365 days per year.

In Summary

The weather on the islands is tropical but the climate can be different depending on altitude and weather. The islands are cooled by northeasterly trade winds.. Rainfall comes with those winds also. October – April are the wettest months with May – September being drier and warmer. A distinctive feature of Hawaiian climate is the small variation in temperature range – winter months average 77 degrees – summer is 83 degrees. Hottest recorded temperature was 100 degrees in 1931; the lowest was 12 degrees on Mauna Kea’s peak.

Perfect Climate

Hawaii is the only state that has never recorded a below-zero temperature. With the drier and warmer temperatures comes more risk for a tropical cyclone. The latest recorded big Hurricane Iniki is in 1992. She caused more damage than any other hurricane. Iniki hit Kauai on September 11, as a category 4.


Why We Love Hawaii

What would you guess are favorite pastimes and sports in Hawaii?    Hawaiians love the water and beaches and on weekends you will find beaches filled with tents where people spend the weekend just to be near the ocean to swim, boogie board, surf or water ski or build sand castles. And don’t forget about the endless number of amazing hiking trails.

Waihee Ridge Trail Maui

Some of the largest waves have been recorded at North Shore beaches. The surfers take full advantage of these waves on Oahu at Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach awaiting for The Eddie each year. Another outdoor favorite activity is hiking and exploring all the gorgeous landscapes of the islands. Enjoy this video of the many cool things to see or visit in Hawaii.

Hopefully, you will have the chance to experience Hawaii for yourself too! I highly recommend a visit to one of the islands at least once.

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Travel Wellness

As much as I love to visit beautiful and exciting places, I most certainly do not enjoy the travel fatigue and discomfort that comes with it. I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest concerns about traveling is getting sick or my back going out.   Unless you are one of the lucky ones and travel first class in the luxury seats, the airlines I travel on usually offer some of the most uncomfortable seating out there. *COVID19: The airlines have taken considerable measures to ensure cleanliness and safety of all who fly during these challenging times of Covid. Please visit the appropriate airline to learn protocols and safety measures of the company you chose to fly with.

Flight Duration

Flying can take a significant toll on your body. As a result of the air pressure changes alone, it can create the build up of gas in the body. Then consider the cramped surroundings, long sitting, and lack of movement can cause the build up of blood in the legs. As a result, this can possibly bring the onset of other health related issues. Oh, let’s not forget about dehydration as airlines are now offering less and less complimentary beverages and food.

The Cabin

I mention cramped surroundings and small seating areas; the airlines continue to strive for improving profit margins, their customer service is on the decline. Surely, you’ve seen the most recent incidents as well with respect to customers being dragged down the isle on the plane, and the death of one passenger’s dog.

The Cabin of inside an airplane.

The cabin environment and experience that the airlines have created today is one that is conducive to thriving viruses (Pre Covid). They are ones that you are more susceptible to viruses and airborne infections. Providing less oxygen and moisture, and more contamination; it’s a recipe for illnesses no doubt. With respect to airline travel; according to, you are nearly 100 times more likely to get sick. *COVID19: Airlines today have made significant changes to their policy protocols with respect to cleanliness and safety for all.


The areas on the plane that you may not think matter when touching can be very highly contaminated with germs and bacteria. Areas such as the button on the tray table, the arm rest, seat pockets, and window shades can contain a bacteria that survive up to 96 hours.


The contaminated surfaces on the plane are not the only thing you should be concerned about. On board water served on the airplane can also be contaminated with bacteria. So now that I’ve got you frustrated and possibly not enthused about traveling again, there are several ways to improve your travel experience and how you feel while traveling. Here are a few ideas that I practice in preparation for my travel:

Travel Tips For Wellness

Bring antibacterial hand gel. I use this on my hands every time I hear someone cough on the plane, and prior to eating any food. *COVID19: I bring sanitizer hand wipes to wipe down my entire seat, arm rests, food tray and handle.

A. Stay hydrated. Bring your own water bottle. I fill my bottle up after the security line and many airports actually have the filtered option at the drinking fountain – where you can fill your own bottle with filtered water.

B. Bring your own packed lunch or food. I pack a turkey sandwich or almond butter sandwich. Tortilla chips, almonds or walnuts, banana or apple. (It is more challenging with food sensitivities, but I am able to manage).

C. Use saline nose spray to keep moisture throughout your nasal cavity. To reduce risk of airborne illnesses.

D. Dress comfortable and wear comfortable shoes for example, sneakers. Another bad idea is to wear nylons or panty hose as they can be a fire hazard. However, some argue that it was recommended in the past that Airline staff wear hosiery as it reduces blood clots from occurring.

E. So, with all these challenges to overcome as I board my next airline, I have a few things that I do to combat these risks and do my best to be prepared and ready to travel.

Fitness During Flight

One of the airlines has launched a wellness video series as part of on-board flight entertainment. Hawaiian Airlines offers these free videos for viewing during flight to help you stay well and experience a better flight so you can stay healthy at your destination.

The best exercises and breathing techniques for pre-flight, in-flight, and after flight travel.


Prepare for Pre-flight:   Deep Breathing

  • Stand tall * March in place:
    • Keep in control and continue for at least 30 seconds.
  • Heel raises: Perform this movement at a slow pace then hold for 5 seconds at the top, then slowly lower your heel back to the floor. Repeat and do at least 10 reps.
  • Standing twist * swing your arms around you back and forth.


While sitting:

  • Clinch and release your waist area.
  • Squeeze and release your glutes.
  • Sit tall and straight * deep breathing in and out
  • Shoulders rolls * gently roll shoulders forward, then back. Raise your arms as well.
  • Flexing your feet * raise feet and rotate in circles.
  • Inner / outer thigh * place flat hands on each side of inner thigh and hold while pushing your thighs inward as your hands force against. Then repeat with hands outside of each thigh and flex your thighs outward against your hands as they hold steady. Repeat.


  • Walking towards the bathroom. (Get up and walk if possible every 20 minutes).
  • While waiting for the bathroom, you can march in place, flex and stretch your feet, or slowly do standing twists.

After flight:

Continue to keep your body in motion once you have landed, and walk wherever you can. Once you have arrived at your destination, here are some stretches and movements that will help get the blood moving throughout your muscles and body again. Take a look at Wainani Arnold, Wainani Wellness Center, (

In summary, even though you may not end up being one of the lucky passengers flying in the comfortable luxury of first class, your flying experience doesn’t have to be so bad. By planning, preparing, and implementing these healthy stretches, movements, and breathing techniques, your airline flight time can actually be part of the overall positive experience of your entire trip. I know my travel experience has improved immensely as a result of practicing these techniques and I’ve avoided getting sick numerous times, especially traveling during the winter months.



Alligator Pear

Did you know that the avocado is a fruit? Otherwise known as ‘alligator pear’, the avocado is grown on a tree and is loaded with nutrients that provide tremendous benefits to your body.  The nutrients are only part of the experience of consuming avocados; shopping for them and preparing them to eat is another story.

Choosing Ripeness

Those who don’t normally eat avocados find it difficult choosing the proper ripeness when shopping at the market. The look and feel I usually shop for have these characteristics: slight firmness and not too brown in color. As I shop for the perfect fruit, I always consider my technique when slicing open the fruit to remove the seed with no mess. You don’t want it too firm because then you just don’t get the most enriching flavor. As well, the seed will not be easy to remove.


To battle the challenge of preparing them for eating, it will all be worth the challenge knowing the incredible nutrients they contain; which include the following:

  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Nutrient Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin E
  • Small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, and other minerals.


To begin my slicing challenge, I wash the exterior of the avocado before my knife touches it. Using a papertowl, I gently tap to dry the fruit.  Place the knife and start at the top of the avocado and slice downward and around back near the top – to slice it into two halves.  Take one of the halves that contain the seed in one hand, using the knife with your other hand, do a quick and straight chop into the center of the seed and gently turn. As you turn the knife, gently squeeze the fruit and push to get the seed out.

The Seed

With the proper ripeness, the seed should slide right out.  I then take a spoon and place it into the inside edge of the peel and gently slide throughout the lining of the avocado half.

sliced tomato and avocado on white plate
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The seed can also be used to plant and grow an avocado tree. There appears to be some prep work and patience. Learn how to grow an avocado tree from the seed here:

Now the challenge of slicing and preparing the avocado for consumption is ready for salads, sandwiches, guacamole, and more! The flavor they add to your meals is only a small part of what Avocados provide. Did you know that Avocados contain more potassium than bananas?  According to, “Avocados are actually very high in potassium… with a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving containing 14% of the RDA, compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical high potassium food.”.. Read complete article here: 

Avocado Goodness

When I first began consuming avocados, I certainly made my share of messes when attempting to slice it. The fear of tackling that alligator pear for meal time always put fear in my mind. Now, I seek and find the proper ripe fruit, and slice it with ease.


The many reasons to include Epsom Salt Baths to your fit lifestyle today. Here are a few.

The healthy benefits of taking Epsom salt baths are tremendous. I just can’t say enough positive things about Epsom salt. And actually, it is not really a salt as it is a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfer. Epsom salt is not only a great remedy for sore aching muscles and ailments, but is also used for many household and beauty uses.

You can also add a cup of Epsom salt in a quart of cold water to make a compress and apply with a washcloth to relieve mild sunburn, mosquito bites, and bee stings. I’ve also put a couple tablespoons of Epsom salt to my outdoor plants and flowers to add some healthy supplemental nutrients to them.

But plants and gardens aren’t the only beneficiaries of Epsom salt. It helps ease stress and also relaxes the body. As well, it relieves pain and muscle cramps, reduces stiffness and soreness in joints . As described in studies show that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring proper function of muscles, nerves, and enzymes. It also mentions that proper levels of magnesium and sulfate increase the effectiveness of insulin in the body and can help lower the risk or severity of diabetes.

Maintaining proper levels of magnesium in the body also can provide some great sleep! The amount of people with magnesium deficiencies is significant. According to, nearly half (48%) of the US population consumed less than the required amount of magnesium from food in 2005-2006, and the figure was down from 56% in 2001-2002. Full article:

So, if you are one of those people who experience limited sleep, you may want to try the warm Epsom salt baths, as well as ingesting foods that contain higher levels of magnesium like greens, nuts, raisins, and flaxseeds.  Read complete article here:

Sources: (

Many people today dread the thought of spending 30 minutes a day biking, running, or using a few nautilus machines. Some people don’t even enjoy the activity as simple as walking. Which really is a shame and a loss for them. Living an active lifestyle provides so many benefits, of which one of them can be weight loss. Which is why I am asking; Better for weight loss: exercise or diet?

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Interesting Studies

Exercise may not be the most effective method to weight loss by itself. There must be a combination of different forms of exercise and diet intake choices. According to an article in, a study completed by researchers at Duke University learned that while performing cardio exercise, one of two study groups lost more weight versus the other group performing resistance training. As well, Chris Slientz, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Duke University suggests “it’s what and how much you eat has a far greater impact on how much weight you lose.”


My Struggle With Diets

Years ago, there was a product on the market consisting of a fitness plan and supplement intake called Cybergenics. At that time, I was obsessed with bodybuilding, fitness and desperate to try and shape my physique. So I discovered Cybergenics during my research. I felt comfortable that it was safe to try after educating myself on it.  The program is comprised of taking the supplement, as well as following a very strict diet plan. After a few short days, I realize that this diet plan is unsustainable. And probably anyone who followed it strictly, would have lost weight even without taking the supplement. This is what my nutritional intake consisted of during the first couple of days.

person slicing biscuit using stainless steel butter knife
Photo by Tookapic on
  • Morning:   one slice of Peanut butter, ½ grapefruit, water
  • Lunch:     Can of tuna on crackers, carrots, water
  • Dinner:     Boiled chicken, broccoli, crackers, water

The Diet Scam

When the plan suggested boiled chicken and broccoli for breakfast, that was it, I discontinued it. My stomach couldn’t handle having such bland, boiled chicken for breakfast.  I recently did more research on that Cybergenics product, and it appears that it may have been a scam. According to, there were a few other supplement products that turned out to be scams from the 1980s and 1990s.   An interesting article, read complete article here:

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Lessons Learned

Well, now that I am older, I realize that there is no need to starve myself, that if you make time to exercise, and eat healthy, natural, sensible nutrition that you can maintain a healthy weight and life. Now, my fit life regime consists of a combination of natural eating, yoga, weight training, hiking, and walking.

When I feel I need to burn more body fat, I will do a few 10 minute fat burner moves and an exercise regime called Spartacus. If you need to burn some of that adipose fat away, then these exercise techniques will burn it off.  I’ve done it and it works. This might be regime classified in the Hiit arena (high intensity interval training). I hope to inspire as many people as possible to maximize their lives and include activity.

action active activity adult
Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on


So, you may not want to get so caught up in one method or the other of how to slim down. Keep it simple, eat healthy and smaller proportions, and do more activity.  You put less in and you add more output. There are endless ways, simple ways to stay healthy and fit! Do not put so much pressure on yourself and restrict yourself to new years resolutions, etc. Create a sustainable plan to implement more healthy foods, make time for activity, and allow yourself to enjoy a few goodies occasionally! So, which is better, exercise or diet? From my experience, I say both!



UPDATED: Since we are all rediscovering home at this time due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, I think you may find this article interesting and you may remind yourself that home may actually be where your heart is.

Do you find yourself unhappy and continually complaining about everything at this point in your life? Have you ever considered your surroundings or where you live might be affecting your attitude? Occasionally, I find myself complaining about the weather, nasty neighbors, noise pollution, this is what I went through growing up in one of the coldest states in America (North Dakota). There are studies showing that health and loving where you live are possibly connected.

Change of Seasons

Every year, I used to dread the winter season that seem to come too quick. I knew that by August 1ST, leaves on the trees began to turn yellow in color. In my mind, this means it is the end of my precious beloved Summer. And the beginning of life indoors; wearing several layers of clothing, and doing very little physical activity.

There are several people who love fall and wintertime. There is so much to do and it can be extraordinarily beautiful. For example, snow capped mountains, or a sunset on a flowing creek surrounded by snow. Winter season reminds me of my childhood mostly, which is wonderful.

What Makes You Happy

As an adult, I do prefer to live in areas with warmer climates. Life seems so much easier in warm comfortable climates. I find myself so much happier, more active, and enjoying my daily life more in the Spring and Summer seasons. But there are many people who love the change of seasons as well. There are plenty of folks who love the change of seasons. Although my entire family lives in colder weather states, I will always choose warm weather living.

I am discovering however, as I grow older, the more I appreciate the seasons. I actually love the Fall season. I enjoy seeing the colors of yellow, red, and orange on the trees. The crisp air also brings a sense of new beginnings and excitement for what the future holds.

Happiness = Healthy

This begs the question, do you love the place where you live? Does being happy contribute to improved or better health? There has been many studies done on these very questions. Is loving where you live connected to being physically healthier? According to, a gallup poll says that people satisfied with their community are physically healthier. And continues to say that a survey can’t draw a causal link between community and individual health, but research suggests the two are linked.   Read complete article here:

You may also want to put high regards to ‘community’ when choosing where to live. During tough times or tragic events, the folks in your community can really be strong support. We recently moved to a new community in Florida, and the folks here have been so gracious, friendly, and very welcoming. It truly does give you a sense of safety, security, and a loving home.

Final Thoughts

The next time you find yourself feeling down or unhappy, you might consider your environment and surroundings. You might also take the time to appreciate where you are. Find the beauty of the place you are right now. Rediscover your home and community, especially during the tough times. But if you are planning a move, make sure to think about the things that make YOU happy. Including climate and weather as well as community!

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Which do you prefer; hot or cool environmental temperature? Or how do you feel about high heat and humidity?  Well, now throw in high intensity exercise into the mix, and see how the environment of where you are effects the VO2max  measurement of your workout. VO2max is the measurement of the amount of oxygen is used during intense activity or exercise. Top athletes take the VO2max measurement seriously because depending on the environmental temperature they are in, the individual / athlete might know how to better prepare or possibly expect changes in their performance.

Changes to the individual / athlete also varies among men and women. Studies have shown that in some cases, there was no effect or change in the VO2max measurement with respect to the environmental temperature.  Now, humidity levels produced some different results according to one report mentioned in an article in the Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness. That report indicates that there was a significant increased VO2max in R.H.(Relative Humidity) that was increased from 45% to 95% R.H. with a temperature at 68 degrees F.   Read full article here:

Thank you for visiting! Fitlifeandtravel is a lifestyle blog that has been inspiring us to explore national parks, unique hiking trails, hidden waterfalls, and seeking out stunning cliffs and canyons! And of course, some of our adventures require a bit higher fitness level so we incorporate lots of fitness into our lives to train for these trips! Military veteran turned adventurer traveler blogger!

We’ve lived on both coasts surrounded by some incredible beauty and culture, but wanted to see more, do more, and explore more of our beautiful lands in America. So hold on tight, there will be more epic adventure, challenging hiking trails and caves, and many more stories about spectacular sunsets behind mountains and upon oceans!


About Shannon

I was born and raised in the beautiful state of North Dakota; having many dreams and curiosities about what the real world was really like out there. The only reference I had about the real world was through television. I joined the military a year after high school and was stationed in Washington state, California, and deploying to the middle of the Indian Ocean.

After the military, I ended up working for a successful businessman for 22 years, and after a life-changing event in early 2017, I wanted my husband and I to share more life experiences together. So, now we are more in love with adventure, nature, seeing new places, and experiencing unique things together. We are also becoming photographers of life! Our mission is to maximize life! You can find me most on Twitter.

You will also find me at the following:

Interests and Experiences:

Nature- Hiking, exploring
Fitness-Yoga, and cycle
Music-Play Piano
Art- Painting
Graphic Designer
Social Media Content Provider
Marketing Director
Military Deployment overseas*Gulf War veteran

I would love to have you follow along our journeys in life; please subscribe, follow, pin, share, retweet all you want! Thanks for all your support!